Tufts left Michigan for another junior position at the newly founded University of Chicago in A year later, the senior philosopher at Chicago, Charles Strong , resigned, and Tufts recommended to Chicago president William Rainey Harper that Dewey be offered the position. After initial reluctance, Dewey was hired in Dewey soon filled out the department with his Michigan companions Mead and Angell. These four formed the core of the Chicago School of psychology. In , G. Stanley Hall invited some psychologists and philosophers to a meeting at Clark with the purpose of founding a new American Psychological Association APA.
Almost immediately tension arose between the experimentally and philosophically inclined members of the APA. Edward Bradford Titchener and Lightner Witmer launched an attempt to either establish a separate "Section" for philosophical presentations, or to eject the philosophers altogether. After nearly a decade of debate, a Western Philosophical Association was founded and held its first meeting in at the University of Nebraska.
The following year , an American Philosophical Association held its first meeting at Columbia University. In , a number of psychologists, unhappy with the parochial editorial policies of the American Journal of Psychology approached Hall about appointing an editorial board and opening the journal out to more psychologists not within Hall's immediate circle. Hall refused, so James McKeen Cattell then of Columbia and James Mark Baldwin then of Princeton co-founded a new journal, Psychological Review , which rapidly grew to become a major outlet for American psychological researchers.
Beginning in , James Mark Baldwin Princeton , Hopkins and Edward Bradford Titchener Cornell entered into an increasingly acrimonious dispute over the correct interpretation of some anomalous reaction time findings that had come from the Wundt laboratory originally reported by Ludwig Lange and James McKeen Cattell. Moore Chicago published a series of experiments in Psychological Review appearing to show that Baldwin was the more correct of the two.
However, they interpreted their findings in light of John Dewey 's new approach to psychology, which rejected the traditional stimulus-response understanding of the reflex arc in favor of a "circular" account in which what serves as "stimulus" and what as "response" depends on how one views the situation. Titchener responded in Philosophical Review , by distinguishing his austere "structural" approach to psychology from what he termed the Chicago group's more applied "functional" approach, and thus began the first major theoretical rift in American psychology between Structuralism and Functionalism.
Thorndike , and Robert S. Woodworth , was often regarded as a second after Chicago "school" of American Functionalism see, e. Dewey was elected president of the APA in , while Titchener dropped his membership in the association. In , Titchener formed his own group, eventually known as the Society of Experimental Psychologists. Jastrow promoted the functionalist approach in his APA presidential address of , and Angell adopted Titchener's label explicitly in his influential textbook of and his APA presidential address of In reality, Structuralism was, more or less, confined to Titchener and his students.
Functionalism, broadly speaking, with its more practical emphasis on action and application, better suited the American cultural "style" and, perhaps more important, was more appealing to pragmatic university trustees and private funding agencies. These were traditional metaphysical schools, opposed to regarding psychology as a natural science. From the forward, a steadily increasing interest in positivist , materialist , evolutionary , and deterministic approaches to psychology developed, influenced by, among others, the work of Hyppolyte Taine — e.
In , Ribot founded Revue Philosophique the same year as Mind was founded in Britain , which for the next generation would be virtually the only French outlet for the "new" psychology Plas, Although not a working experimentalist himself, Ribot's many books were to have profound influence on the next generation of psychologists. In the s, Ribot's interests turned to psychopathology, writing books on disorders of memory , will , and personality , and where he attempted to bring to these topics the insights of general psychology.
Although in he lost a Sorbonne professorship in the History of Psychological Doctrines to traditionalist Jules Soury — , from to he taught experimental psychology at the Sorbonne. France's primary psychological strength lay in the field of psychopathology. Two of his students, Alfred Binet — and Pierre Janet — , adopted and expanded this practice in their own work.
In , Binet and his colleague Henri Beaunis — co-founded, at the Sorbonne , the first experimental psychology laboratory in France. In the first years of the 20th century, Binet was requested by the French government to develop a method for the newly founded universal public education system to identify students who would require extra assistance to master the standardized curriculum.
Although the test was used to effect in France, it would find its greatest success and controversy in the United States, where it was translated into English by Henry H. Goddard — , the director of the Training School for the Feebleminded in Vineland, New Jersey, and his assistant, Elizabeth Kite a translation of the edition appeared in the Vineland Bulletin in , but much better known was Kite's translation of the edition, which appeared in book form. The translated test was used by Goddard to advance his eugenics agenda with respect to those he deemed congenitally feeble-minded, especially immigrants from non-Western European countries.
Binet's test was revised by Stanford professor Lewis M. Terman — into the Stanford-Binet IQ test in In , he co-founded the Journale de Psychologie Normale et Pathologique with fellow Sorbonne professor Georges Dumas — , a student and faithful follower of Ribot. Whereas Janet's teacher, Charcot, had focused on the neurologial bases of hysteria, Janet was concerned to develop a scientific approach to psychopathology as a mental disorder. His theory that mental pathology results from conflict between unconscious and conscious parts of the mind, and that unconscious mental contents may emerge as symptoms with symbolic meanings led to a public priority dispute with Sigmund Freud.
Francis Galton 's — anthropometric laboratory opened in There people were tested on a wide variety of physical e. In Galton was visited by James McKeen Cattell who would later adapt Galton's techniques in developing his own mental testing research program in the United States. Galton was not primarily a psychologist, however. The data he accumulated in the anthropometric laboratory primarily went toward supporting his case for eugenics.
The 7 Psychology Schools of Thought
To help interpret the mounds of data he accumulated, Galton developed a number of important statistical techniques, including the precursors to the scatterplot and the product-moment correlation coefficient later perfected by Karl Pearson , — Soon after, Charles Spearman — developed the correlation-based statistical procedure of factor analysis in the process of building a case for his two-factor theory of intelligence, published in Spearman believed that people have an inborn level of general intelligence or g which can be crystallized into a specific skill in any of a number of narrow content area s , or specific intelligence.
Laboratory psychology of the kind practiced in Germany and the United States was slow in coming to Britain. A laboratory was established through the assistance of the physiology department in and a lectureship in psychology was established which first went to W. Rivers — Soon Rivers was joined by C. Myers — and William McDougall — This group showed as much interest in anthropology as psychology, going with Alfred Cort Haddon — on the famed Torres Straits expedition of In the Psychological Society was established which renamed itself the British Psychological Society in , and in Ward and Rivers co-founded the British Journal of Psychology.
Insofar as psychology was regarded as the science of the soul and institutionally part of philosophy courses in theology schools, psychology was present in Russia from the second half of the 18th century. By contrast, if by psychology we mean a separate discipline, with university chairs and people employed as psychologists, then it appeared only after the October Revolution.
From Structuralism to Functionalism
All the same, by the end of the 19th century, many different kinds of activities called psychology had spread in philosophy, natural science, literature, medicine, education, legal practice, and even military science. Psychology was as much a cultural resource as it was a defined area of scholarship . His question was rhetorical, for he was already convinced that physiology was the scientific basis on which to build psychology. The response to Sechenov's popular essay included one, in —, from a liberal professor of law, Konstantin Kavelin. Although it was the history and philology departments that traditionally taught courses in psychology, it was the medical schools that first introduced psychological laboratories and courses on experimental psychology.
As early as the s and s, I. Petersburg and Sergey Korsakov , a psychiatrist at Moscow university, began to purchase psychometric apparatus. At a meeting of the Moscow Psychological Society in , the psychiatrists Grigory Rossolimo and Ardalion Tokarskii — demonstrated both Wundt's experiments and hypnosis.
In , Tokarskii set up a psychological laboratory in the psychiatric clinic of Moscow university with the support of its head, Korsakov, to teach future psychiatrists about what he promoted as new and necessary techniques. In , Georgy Chelpanov announced a 3-year course in psychology based on laboratory work and a well-structured teaching seminar.
In the following years, Chelpanov traveled in Europe and the United States to see existing institutes; the result was a luxurious four-story building for the Psychological Institute of Moscow with well-equipped laboratories, opening formally on March 23, In the early twentieth century, Ivan Pavlov 's behavioral and conditioning experiments became the most internationally recognized Russian achievements. With the creation of the Soviet Union , state ideology promoted a tendency to the psychology of Bekhterev 's reflexologist reductionism and to historical materialism , suppressing idealistic philosophers and psychologists.
Notable also was Sergei Rubinstein , but Kornilov's reactology became the main view, besides a small group formed by Alexei Leontiev , Lev Vygostky , and Alexander Luria , which embraced a deterministic sociohistorical paradigm ; due to Soviet censorship, many works by Vygotsky were not published chronologically. Lysenkoism affected Russian science, which suffered purges from Collectively, they developed a new approach to psychological experimentation that flew in the face of many of Wundt's restrictions.
Wundt had drawn a distinction between the old philosophical style of self-observation Selbstbeobachtung in which one introspected for extended durations on higher thought processes, and inner perception innere Wahrnehmung in which one could be immediately aware of a momentary sensation, feeling, or image Vorstellung. Only the latter was a proper subject for experimentation. He thus, paradoxically, used a method of which Wundt did not approve in order to affirm Wundt's view of the situation. The imageless thought debate is often said to have been instrumental in undermining the legitimacy of all introspective methods in experimental psychology and, ultimately, in bringing about the behaviorist revolution in American psychology.
It was not without its own delayed legacy, however. Herbert A. Instead, they argued that the psychological "whole" has priority and that the "parts" are defined by the structure of the whole, rather than vice versa. Thus, the school was named Gestalt , a German term meaning approximately "form" or "configuration. Wertheimer had been a student of Austrian philosopher, Christian von Ehrenfels — , who claimed that in addition to the sensory elements of a perceived object, there is an extra element which, though in some sense derived from the organization of the standard sensory elements, is also to be regarded as being an element in its own right.
Wertheimer took the more radical line that "what is given me by the melody does not arise In other words, one hears the melody first and only then may perceptually divide it up into notes. Only after this primary apprehension might one notice that it is made up of lines or dots or stars.
Gestalt-Theorie was officially initiated in in an article by Wertheimer on the phi-phenomenon; a perceptual illusion in which two stationary but alternately flashing lights appear to be a single light moving from one location to another. Contrary to popular opinion, his primary target was not behaviorism, as it was not yet a force in psychology. The aim of his criticism was, rather, the atomistic psychologies of Hermann von Helmholtz — , Wilhelm Wundt — , and other European psychologists of the time.
Koffka was also a student of Stumpf's, having studied movement phenomena and psychological aspects of rhythm. The terms "structure" and "organization" were focal for the Gestalt psychologists. Stimuli were said to have a certain structure, to be organized in a certain way, and that it is to this structural organization, rather than to individual sensory elements, that the organism responds. When an animal is conditioned, it does not simply respond to the absolute properties of a stimulus, but to its properties relative to its surroundings.
In Koffka published a Gestalt-oriented text on developmental psychology, Growth of the Mind. With the help of American psychologist Robert Ogden , Koffka introduced the Gestalt point of view to an American audience in by way of a paper in Psychological Bulletin. It contains criticisms of then-current explanations of a number of problems of perception, and the alternatives offered by the Gestalt school.
Koffka moved to the United States in , eventually settling at Smith College in In Koffka published his Principles of Gestalt Psychology. This textbook laid out the Gestalt vision of the scientific enterprise as a whole. Science, he said, is not the simple accumulation of facts. What makes research scientific is the incorporation of facts into a theoretical structure.
The goal of the Gestalt ists was to integrate the facts of inanimate nature, life, and mind into a single scientific structure. This meant that science would have to swallow not only what Koffka called the quantitative facts of physical science but the facts of two other "scientific categories": questions of order and questions of Sinn , a German word which has been variously translated as significance, value, and meaning.
Without incorporating the meaning of experience and behavior, Koffka believed that science would doom itself to trivialities in its investigation of human beings. Having survived the onslaught of the Nazis up to the mids,  all the core members of the Gestalt movement were forced out of Germany to the United States by Koffka died in and Wertheimer in As a result of the conjunction of a number of events in the early 20th century, behaviorism gradually emerged as the dominant school in American psychology.
First among these was the increasing skepticism with which many viewed the concept of consciousness: although still considered to be the essential element separating psychology from physiology, its subjective nature and the unreliable introspective method it seemed to require, troubled many. William James ' Journal of Philosophy Second was the gradual rise of a rigorous animal psychology. In addition to Edward Lee Thorndike 's work with cats in puzzle boxes in , the start of research in which rats learn to navigate mazes was begun by Willard Small , in American Journal of Psychology.
Robert M. Yerkes 's Journal of Philosophy Another important rat study was published by Henry H.
- Structures of Knowing: Psychologies of the Nineteenth Century - Katherine Arens - Google книги.
- Associationist Theories of Thought.
- Sigmund Freud Theory!
- Psychology: An introduction to the science of human behavior.
- Artemis Fowl and the Opal Deception.
- Industrial Pigging Technology: Fundamentals, Components, Applications.
- New Developments in Ophthalmology Nijmegen 16–18 October 1975.
Donaldson , J. A third factor was the rise of Watson to a position of significant power within the psychological community. In addition to heading the Johns Hopkins department, Baldwin was the editor of the influential journals, Psychological Review and Psychological Bulletin. Only months after Watson's arrival, Baldwin was forced to resign his professorship due to scandal.
Watson was suddenly made head of the department and editor of Baldwin's journals. He resolved to use these powerful tools to revolutionize psychology in the image of his own research. In he published in Psychological Review the article that is often called the "manifesto" of the behaviorist movement, "Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It. The following year, , his first textbook, Behavior went to press. Although behaviorism took some time to be accepted as a comprehensive approach see Samelson, , in no small part because of the intervention of World War I , by the s Watson's revolution was well underway.
The central tenet of early behaviorism was that psychology should be a science of behavior, not of the mind, and rejected internal mental states such as beliefs, desires, or goals. Watson himself, however, was forced out of Johns Hopkins by scandal in Although he continued to publish during the s, he eventually moved on to a career in advertising see Coon, Among the behaviorists who continued on, there were a number of disagreements about the best way to proceed. Neo-behaviorists such as Edward C. Tolman , Edwin Guthrie , Clark L. Hull , and B. Skinner debated issues such as 1 whether to reformulate the traditional psychological vocabulary in behavioral terms or discard it in favor of a wholly new scheme, 2 whether learning takes place all at once or gradually, 3 whether biological drives should be included in the new science in order to provide a "motivation" for behavior, and 4 to what degree any theoretical framework is required over and above the measured effects of reinforcement and punishment on learning.
By the late s, Skinner's formulation had become dominant, and it remains a part of the modern discipline under the rubric of Behavior Analysis. Its application Applied Behavior Analysis has become one of the most useful fields of psychology. Behaviorism was the ascendant experimental model for research in psychology for much of the 20th century, largely due to the creation and successful application not least of which in advertising of conditioning theories as scientific models of human behaviour. In , Jean Piaget — turned away from his early training in natural history and began post-doctoral work in psychoanalysis in Zurich.
In , he moved to Paris to work at the Binet-Simon Lab. However, Binet had died in and Simon lived and worked in Rouen. The job in Paris was relatively simple: to use the statistical techniques he had learned as a natural historian, studying molluscs, to standardize Cyril Burt 's intelligence test for use with French children.
Yet without direct supervision, he soon found a remedy to this boring work: exploring why children made the mistakes they did. Applying his early training in psychoanalytic interviewing, Piaget began to intervene directly with the children: "Why did you do that? It was from this that the ideas formalized in his later stage theory first emerged. They formed what is now known as the Genevan School. In , the International Center for Genetic Epistemology was founded: an interdisciplinary collaboration of theoreticians and scientists, devoted to the study of topics related to Piaget's theory.
In , Piaget received the "distinguished scientific contributions" award from the American Psychological Association. Noam Chomsky 's review of Skinner's book Verbal Behavior that aimed to explain language acquisition in a behaviorist framework is considered one of the major theoretical challenges to the type of radical as in 'root' behaviorism that Skinner taught. Chomsky claimed that language could not be learned solely from the sort of operant conditioning that Skinner postulated.
Chomsky's argument was that people could produce an infinite variety of sentences unique in structure and meaning and that these could not possibly be generated solely through experience of natural language. The issue is not whether mental activities exist; it is whether they can be shown to be the causes of behavior. Similarly, work by Albert Bandura showed that children could learn by social observation , without any change in overt behaviour, and so must according to him be accounted for by internal representations. The rise of computer technology also promoted the metaphor of mental function as information processing.
This, combined with a scientific approach to studying the mind, as well as a belief in internal mental states, led to the rise of cognitivism as the dominant model of the mind. Links between brain and nervous system function were also becoming common, partly due to the experimental work of people like Charles Sherrington and Donald Hebb , and partly due to studies of people with brain injury see cognitive neuropsychology.
With the development of technologies for accurately measuring brain function, neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience have become some of the most active areas in contemporary psychology. With the increasing involvement of other disciplines such as philosophy , computer science , and neuroscience in the quest to understand the mind, the umbrella discipline of cognitive science has been created as a means of focusing such efforts in a constructive way.
In addition, there are a large number of "friendly journals" where historical material can often be found. Burman, J. Network Analysis of Journal Citation Reports, ". SAGE Open. These are discussed in History of Psychology discipline. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the discipline, see History of Psychology discipline.
Wundt’s Contribution to Psychology
The absoulte values are largely irrelevant. In the sciences i. In psychology, my memory enhanced group can average 10, 20, 26 etc items recalled. All that matters is that the control groups averages some any number that is different than the memory-enhanced condition. Even ordinality is far from assured. If I respond on a Likert pain scale with a 4 and you respond with a 2, we have NO way of knowing who is in more pain with an certitude. All we can say is that we circled different numbers on the same scale. But there is no justifiable basis for determining how one assigns numbers to sensation.
In short, in most not all cases, the psychology experiment save when it relates ONLY to material entities -- e. Your food metaphor is accurate and funny.
I like to describe psychology as a philosophy that likes to play dress up in the clothes of science. By the way, I am a mental health counselor. Its unfortunate many counselors in my experience abandon all thoughts of the scientific method when embracing shiny, new counseling techniques. Once again, psychology is a philosophy that likes to pretend to be a science. Can I have an attitude towards observation, psychology and science that allows for a self to appear Gregg Henriques, Ph.
The Tree of Knowledge System maps reality and science on four dimensions. Sovereignty is a helpful way to think of personal conscious agency. Back Psychology Today. Back Find a Therapist. Back Get Help. Back Magazine. Subscribe Issue Archive. Back Today. Educating for the Future. Inflammation and the 3 Paths of Depression in Older Adults. Gregg Henriques Ph. Friend me on Faceook. Submitted by Psygology lover but with my special sauce. Multiple religions, because Submitted by john allen moldon on January 27, - pm. Both are subject to change on a moments notice.
While you can certainly ignore some things, what if some things are best not ignored. Crazy truck driver really was a gift, after awhile, why didnt we listen? I took the liberty of documenting my explanation. Hows the Vatican doing on theirs? Psychology is the study of Submitted by john allen moldon on January 27, - pm. Psychology is the study of behaviours. Animal behaviour can be studied and remains relatively constant controlling for conditions. Man not so much. Your plan is to make really neat machines, and probably sacrifice yourselves in the process?
The God Problem. Submitted by john allen moldon on January 27, - pm. Crazy guy shows up. Starts talking and over time becomes really annoying. Despite prayers and wishes, just keeps going on and on. What happens if he doesn't die One side saying blah, and the other rha. Rha rha. Psychology is a social Submitted by Mishal on January 28, - am.
Psychology is a social science.. It is the scientific study of behavior and mental processes Mishal, is on the right track. Anonymous wrote:. Can "science" be in the eye of the beholder? Submitted by missattempts on January 28, - am. I have read Submitted by Srinivasan on August 23, - pm. Remove pseudoscientists from public posts Submitted by Agnes on December 13, - am.
Core pieces of knowledge in psychology Submitted by Ben on July 14, - am. Out with the old, in with the new Submitted by Ravus on July 2, - am. Psycology is not science Submitted by Larry Capinga on July 19, - pm. The mere fact that Submitted by Leonidas on December 7, - am.
This Submitted by Gabrielle on February 7, - pm. Bottom line: In Psychology, Submitted by stan kein on February 11, - pm. Reply to author's bottom line Submitted by stan kein on February 11, - pm. You note that psychology is a science in the sense that it uses scientific method. Understanding the independence of consciousness Submitted by Arnold on August 19, - pm. Not sure why, this subject of mine, is here Post Comment Your name. E-mail The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. Notify me when new comments are posted.
All comments. James anticipates these scientists by positing a structure of reality more in keeping with the discoveries of modern physics: reality was more than what the eye itself could see. Material substance, far from being physically inert, was composed of invisibly moving, highly charged particles, and permeated by invisible rays.
He had been asked by Harvard to give the annual Ingersoll Lecture, named after a deeply religious alumnus, one Caroline Haskell Ingersoll, who bequeathed money to Harvard to advance the study of the afterlife. As James himself acknowledged, philosophers Immanuel Kant and F. Schiller made similar arguments. Kant, for example, maintained that the body restricts the intellectual function of the brain, which only comes into full flower after death.
Myers, founder of the British Society for Psychical Research. Within each of our personal histories, subject, object, interest and purpose are continuous or may be continuous. For Chalmers, as for James, what consciousness perceives or apprehends, then, is actually a difference among relations. My present field of consciousness is a centre surrounded by a fringe that shades insensibly into a subconscious more… The centre works in one way while the margins work in another, and presently overpower the centre and are central themselves.
What we conceptually identify ourselves with and say we are thinking of at any time is the centre; but our full self is the whole field, with all those indefinitely radiating subconscious possibilities of increase that we can only feel without conceiving, and can hardly begin to analyze , p. James was less interested in the mathematical formulation for this law than he was in the assigning of temporal—spatial movement to consciousness. This is as true in the mental as in the physical sphere. In a very real sense, the compounding of consciousness suggests the co-penetration of individual consciousnesses within ever larger and interpenetrating systems.
This idea that consciousnesses themselves co-penetrate is made explicit in an even earlier passage, from the first lecture in A Pluralistic Universe. The dynamic current somehow does get from me to you, however numerous the intermediary conductors may have to be. And here we finally arrive at the panpsychic view James adopted later in life and attributed to Fechner. What exactly panpsychism means, particularly for James has been the source of much misunderstanding in James scholarship.
The basic tenet of panpsychism is that nature is animate. More rigid versions are dualistic, positing an essential correspondence between the psyche and nature. James would understand this in terms of an inherent intimacy of relations between the self and the world with which the self engages. Imagine a tree in winter: a single trunk gives rise to smaller branches, forming the essential architecture of the tree; from these branches, smaller ones grow, giving rise to even smaller, finer branches as the tree extends upward and outward.
Imagine, if you will, a whole forest of such trees, whose branches co-penetrate to a greater or lesser extent, depending on their proximity to one another, or upon other natural forces in the environment: a gust of wind, birds alighting, rain or snow falling on the branches. This more philosophic attitude of receptivity, delineated by Thompson, is one that James pioneered in his radical empiricist philosophy and in his life-long willingness to attend to the less clear-cut aspects of individual psychological experience.
James attempted this linguistically by adopting metaphors for the structure of consciousness that served to reconcile Darwinian evolutionary theory with discoveries in the physics of his day. Both models helped him explore intractable, yet fundamental, epistemological, and ontological questions: Was the universe self-unifying and ordered according to absolute metaphysical or mechanical causes, or was it inherently discontinuous with human perception? The mind… works on the data it receives very much as a sculptor works on his block of stone.
In a sense the statue stood there from eternity. But there were a thousand different ones beside it, and the sculptor alone is to thank for having extricated this one from the rest. Just so the world of each of us, howsoever different from our several views of it may be, all lay embedded in the primordial chaos of sensations, which gave the mere matter to the thought of all of us indifferently. We may, if we like, by our reasonings unwind things back to that black and jointless continuity of space and moving clouds of swarming atoms which science calls the only real world.
But all the while the world we feel and live in will be that which our ancestors and we, by slowly cumulative strokes of choice, have extricated out of this, like sculptors, by simply rejecting certain portions of the given stuff. Other sculptors, other statues from the same stone! Other minds, other worlds from the same monotonous and inexpressive chaos! My world is but one in a million alike embedded, alike real to those who may abstract them. How different must be the worlds in the consciousness of ant, cuttlefish, or crab!
Like Fechner, he sought a naturalistic understanding of consciousness that could account for the spontaneity and novelty of individual minds — their flashes of insight and bursts of genius — the very expressions of individual creativity that appear to distinguish human forms of cognition from that of other species. Like James in his own cultural moment, recent contemporary discussions of the mind—brain problem similarly try to bridge divergent biological, psychological, and philosophical approaches.
Each new theory requires a correspondingly new definition of reality, one that makes consciousness, or experience, or information, awareness, or criticality, an emergent quality of the universe, and which all living things to a greater or lesser extent seem to possess. Underlying their concept is a conviction that reality — invisible or otherwise — may be discovered to have a subtler structure consonant with that of consciousness itself. I would suggest, however, that James did not so much make a deliberate program of transgressing boundaries, as he sought knowledge from a constellation of disciplines that he felt would best address his intellectual concerns.
In so doing, he also recognized the possibility for fruitful interdisciplinary collaboration on resolving challenging problems in the mind sciences. Although Fechner endorsed the liberation of natural science from philosophy, he nonetheless believed his own philosophical interests to be compatible with his scientific ones. Intellectually, James collaborated with an international cohort of scientist—philosophers — psychologists, physicists, and physiologists — who not only rejected the growing disciplinary divide between philosophy and the natural sciences, but who also disputed the opposition between science and metaphysics.
Not all practitioners of experimental psychology in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries agreed that science could so easily be divorced from speculative philosophy. The same could be said for all the scientist—philosophers with whom James enjoyed a rich correspondence: in England, figures like Frederick Meyers; in France, Pierre Janet and Theodore Flournoy; in Germany, psychologist Carl Stumpf, and physicist Ernst Mach — to name only a few. In this regard, James and Fechner alike were figures who not only thought deeply about how volitional and subjective aspects of consciousness influence scientific hypotheses, but who also believed that science should not lose sight of the larger human issues: the reverence for mystery and meaning in individual lives.
Related Structures of Knowing: Psychologies of the Nineteenth Century
Copyright 2019 - All Right Reserved